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THE   WINDOW

must refuse him. This going off after luncheon
for a walk, even though Andrew was with them—
what could it mean? except that she had decided,
rightly, Mrs. Ramsay thought (and she was very,
very fond of Minta), to accept that good fellow,
who might not be brilliant, but then, thought
Mrs. Ramsay, realising that James was tugging
at her to make her go on reading aloud the
Fisherman and his Wife, she did in her own
heart infinitely prefer boobies to clever men who
wrote dissertations; Charles Tansley for instance.
Anyhow it must have happened, one way or the
other, by now.

But she read, " Next morning the wife awoke
first, and it was just daybreak, and from her bed
she saw the beautiful country lying before her.
Her husband was still stretching himself. . . ."

But how could Minta say now that she would
not have him? Not if she agreed to spend whole
afternoons trapesing about the country alone—<
for Andrew would be off after his crabs—but
possibly Nancy was with them. She tried to recall
the sight of them standing at the hall door after
lunch. There they stood, looking at the sky,
wondering about the weather, and she had said,
thinking partly to cover their shyness, partly to
encourage them to be off (for her sympathies were
with Paul),

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